The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 37: XXX: Pages of Perilous Overtime

Chapter XXX: Pages of Perilous Overtime

This is just a lot of words to say a very simple thing: when you're in the post-game free roam, you can unlock more stuff, but you can't make any more ending choices. Like I said prior. Luckily for you, since this is an LP, only I really have to worry about this, but yeah, definitely keep separate save slots before and after the end of the game.

If you've finished all the Alchemyriddle entries up to this point, here we go with secret pages. Filled with supremely powerful weapons to unlock, but they'll make you work for them. In addition, if you have the Machina Domain DLC, you get this following scene.

Yes, yes? What is it, Mana?
Hehehe... Today, I have come here to tell you of a certain special place!
A special place?
That's right! Hehe, and when I say "special", I mean it! The view is spectacular, and all sorts of wonderful materials can be found! It's every alchemist's dream! Of course, there are also some powerful monsters about. But I will "test" you later, yes--
Huh? I didn't quite catch that last thing you said...
Ah, never mind about that. Here's the map.
Thanks... "Machina Domain"...?
Yes! Heheh... Well, see you later!

*Mana leaves*

See you later...? That Mana's definitely up to something. Still, a place that's every alchemist's dream... That does sound good... OK, let's go take a look! I'll worry about the details later! I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, somehow! Off to Machina Domain!

Yeah yeah, sure it will. Anyway, here's the hidden page. You remember the one place we've never been able to go at any point up to now? The depths of Orthogalaxen? Here's how you unlock that portal. Defeat the Ancient Draco and investigate the portal itself. No problem. You may be wondering "Didn't you already kill the Ancient Draco?" Yes, but no progress toward any of these riddles counts before you see this page.

And here's the first of the four superweapons. In order, they are the N/A Prototype Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and finally, after making all of them, Omega. You have to make each of them before the next unlocks, so Omega is always the last riddle you can finish in this game. Now, when the game says make a "Best" of something, it damn well means it. It has to be 999 Quality before you qualify. Luckily, nothing *else* matters in terms of finishing these riddles. Traits, Awakened Effects, Effects - nothing.

I'll just save you some time and say that, in order, you need to make a 999 Quality Nectar / N/A -> Witch Salve -> Rainbow Supplement -> N/A Prototype Gamma itself for all the remaining recipes. The Omega made with all the best traits (so probably the same ones I'm using for my Omega Craft) is truly stupendously powerful. So *obviously* we're going to make it. Apparently pre-patch Atelier Lulua let you get Use counts to an insane amount like 40 uses or something. Why is that good? There are traits to boost item power depending on how many uses it has left. But, post-patch that's been nerfed somewhat, so we're using what traits we're using. But I'm unclear on the details, not having access to JP discussions about the meta of this game.

Well, without any further to do...

This is where Corridor of Darkness or whatever it was would have been in Atelier Meruru, but evidently the dimension-shifting tomfoolery of Machina Domain has only continued since. Do note that, even if you can see the entire area lowdown of what monsters and items appear in a place, that never includes bosses.

So let's start working. There's not really any trick to making 999 Quality stuff. It really just depends on what exactly you're working with, but luckily for me, I had plenty of 999 Quality Craft to put into the N/A synthesis. For synthesis items in general, the simplest way to do this in Atelier games is to find synthesis items you can use in a synthesis for that item. The Medicine Base is a typical example, but thanks to Awakening Effects, it's easier than ever to cycle in this game. For example, the White and Black Supplements can easily be cycled by using a Distilled Water in the (Water) category, such that the Awakening Effect makes the resulting Supplement a (Water) category item. Having Ultimate Quality on a bunch of items also really helps, of course. By this point, you also should have hit alchemy level 50 some time ago.

Make sure you register this at Dragon's. It's pricey, but you really don't want to be making more of these than you have to.

Pretty convenient ingredients... But yeah, they all follow this general pattern.

Unusual Effects, don't you think? This is a healing item, surprisingly enough. But definitely not worth it compared to a Healing Bell. In addition, it's single-target. It's really not meant to be used.

Can anyone stop this madman?

Who knew those Guardian Currys would be so valuable? This is why my policy is always to buy more copies of a thing before I replace it at Dragon's.

Of course the charge would be complete but it's not ready yet. Anyway, after this I went and beat up the Ancient Draco again.

Oh, don't worry about that...

Great minds think alike.

Well, as long as the two Luluas are never in the same spot, it should be fine.

And now the doors are wide open for us. There's uh...stuff hanging out down there.

You have to be resourceful on the high seas, Lulua.

In the depths of Orthogalaxen, obviously.

Looks pretty similar, but looks are deceiving. The primary residents of this area are Wailing Urisidae, Marshall Puni, and Ancient Dracos. Yep, most dangerous normal enemies in the game.

Unfortunately, Tonic still doesn't affect the Quality of items found in treasure chests, but even so, some valuable materials in these chests. Including much higher quality Dunkelheit, which, as you know, is a once-in-12-months event in this game.

That dragon seem a little further from the door than you remember? That's because these are the first dragons in the game to chase you. And they're hard to dodge with such big models and narrow pathways around here. Having The Craft definitely makes these fights last under 10 minutes apiece.

Awww, 8500 HP on CHARISMA. That's adorable. Speaking of this area, the Ancient Dracos will wander about of their own volition, rather than you needing to get close to them. Their parameters still haven't improved, though. The chests around here contain different materials compared to any other floor of Orthogalaxen, however.

Be, uh, careful about getting close to this platform. Why? Well, why don't we find out why right now. That black bar at the top is just 100% Exploration of Orthogalaxen, by the way.

There were some recording difficulties coming up here the first time, specifically because this was an actual voiced scene in the post-game and I was intentionally recording with no sound when I first encountered this. So I had to re-record this part right. A friendly match

Oh. That's...

Whoa! Mana?! How did YOU get here?!
What do you mean, "how did I get here"?! YOU were the one that pushed the transport button!
"Transport button"? What's a transport button?
It's the thing you just pushed. It's a device to summon the Operator in case of emergencies. Activating the button returns the Operator to the Galaxen. Whether they want to come or not.
I'm trying to wrap my head around this. You're saying this button forcibly brings Mana back here?
Yeah. That's right. And you better not think you can go around pushing it without any repercussions!

Don't like where this is going...

U-Um... Mana?!

Pffft. We've fought the Machina of God before. I doubt Mana's foiled snacktime wrath is going to be all that threatening. We did it once, we can do it again.

Then again...maaaaybe not. Mana here has insanely boosted parameters, but we are much stronger now, too. And yeah, goes without saying that if you wanna fight her on CHARISMA, you need the best of the best. Mana is completely immune to debuffs except for hits to her parameters themselves, so you can lower her level or her three basic stats, the works. Other than that, get ready for a rumble.

Star Sword at the start is I think meant to be a trick. It's still a very weak attack, but I'm pretty sure she only uses it once as something to fool you. Most everything else she does is a powerful AoE attack or single-target hit for a lot of damage.

I wanted to see how insanely jacked Aurel's parameters could look like, and I think I did pretty well here.

Unfortunately, Death Scent strikes again. All those buffs... Not sure if buff-stripping is a consistent theme for endgame bosses, but I really rather hope not.

Mana has *insanely* high Faint resistance, but Infinite-Faint Damage attacks like Emperor of Yin and Yang still work on her occasionally. One of my Omegas will do about 40k damage.

He can use his Ultimate while he has these stats and equipment? You damn well better not miss, Aurel.

Yeah, that'll do.

Once she starts getting low on health, she'll start pulling off moves she didn't use in the storyline fight against her, like World Extinction. Despite how ominous its name is, only a single-target attack, thank goodness.

She'll also use Wings of Justice. In Atelier Meruru, Mana would automatically use this attack if you guarded at any point, where she'd use this move immediately afterwards for an absolutely devastating AoE hit. Otherwise, she'd never use it. So, it was immensely counterproductive to guard at any point. Here, she will use it, but it's not as powerful but it's also not prompted by guarding. It's also an AoE debuff attack, which is probably more annoying than the damage.

Yep, this is the kind of damage you'll get against a Stunned Mana + The Craft.

Bit of a schlep, but a win's a win. By the way, fighting super-powered enemies is exactly when the gloves should come off for you, by which I mean, use Ether Field as your default party going forward (Lulua x Rorona x Piana). This is the objectively best team, yes, but do keep in mind that AoE attacks are absolutely devastating on CHARISMA, and your alchemists have nothing to do most of the time because of the whole item penalty thing. If you don't have Meruru/Totori, you'll want all three Interruptors on the team, but with one in the backline. That means losing the Team Ether Field bonus (yet another +30% to item effectiveness), but that's better than getting all your item users wiped out to a stray AoE hit, right? Rorona should be in the frontline because she can boost Physical / Magic resistance with one of her skills, something no one else can do.

Buuuut, I do have Meruru and Totori, and you know what, I'm gonna use them. Team Future-Building Power (Rorona x Meruru x Totori) is pretty effective, since it's three good Primal Artes activated at once (the strongest one is Future-Building, which lowers all damage by 30% and nullifies enemy elemental resistances). Lulua and Piana can easily fit in the backline to switch in if necessary, and, again, they have Interrupt power. Five alchemists seems like a kind of cheap team, y'know, but we are fighting all future enemies on CHARISMA, so I may just need to to even the odds.

If you're not using five alchemists, you shouldn't notice *that* much loss in effectiveness but it will slow down considerably compared to a five alchemist team. And it's an additional problem when you're recording because, ideally, you want to show the whole fight in the update, but not if it's like 20 minutes long, y'know?

*transforms back*
M-Mana! Are you OK?!
Hmph. This is but a scratch. I must say, though, Lulua... You've become quite formidable. Hahahahaha! The excitement of the battle almost made me forget about my missed snack time! THAT is how much I enjoyed our little fight.
Oh! I-I see... That's, um, great to hear... I guess?
Indeed it is great! In fact, Lulua, I should like to continue to have fun together in the future.
Have fun together? Like, a game of tag? Or maybe you want to play house?
You're doing this on purpose, right? No one can actually be that obtuse. I'm saying I want to FIGHT!
Oh. Yeah... I was afraid that was what you meant.

Hahahahah! We can't very well go all out in Arklys. We'd blow the whole town away!
Th-That's pretty terrifying! But I guess given your kind of power, it's not an overstatement...
If anything, I would suggest it is an understatement. Half of her power should be sufficient.
Eep! R-Really?!
Not that I ever intend to use it to harm anyone. Anyway, please... Let's have some real fun, from time to time. Doesn't need to be often... Okay, Lulua?
...OK. I'll do it. We're friends, Mana. I'm not going to turn down a friend.
Then I am in your debt. Hahahaha! I'll be looking forward to future battles! Until next time, Lulua!

*Mana leaves*

Hey, Stia? Give me your honest opinion... Have I just wrapped myself up in something terrible?
You have agreed to regular fights with an ultimate weapon from an ancient mechanical civilization. So, yes, I would say so. Hehe. But, you could also look at it as a valuable opportunity.
Ngh... "Valuable". That's one way to put it. But I guess what's done is done. Mana seemed to have a great time. I guess we ought to give her some fun every now and then.

We certainly had fun, didn't we? Sure we did. Anyway, this is another mechanic carried over from the Mysterious Trilogy. Specifically, starting with Firis. In that game, there was an enemy you could encounter in a certain area that started at a certain level, and you could fight and defeat it like usual for great rewards. The trick was, after 10 days (I think), she respawned and you could fight her again. But this time, she gained a level. Once she was fully leveled, which I think was level 200, she was by far the strongest non-DLC enemy in the game. Problem was, she only leveled up by 1 per fight, so you had to fight her 150 times I think to get the challenge? Obviously I did not have the morale to do that, especially since you can't just leave the area she's in, come back, and you can fight her again.

In Lydie & Suelle, they fixed that mechanic so that both (there was another of them now) gained 10 levels after a win against them and start at level 100, so you only had to fight both 10 times to get up to max level (they were two different enemies, not two enemies in the same fight). Since there was a trophy attached to beating both at level 200, this was obviously a very good change. Well, the Lydie & Suelle version returns with Mana here. The next time you come down to this platform, Mana will be at level 110, and she caps out at level 200. Level 200 Mana is, as you might expect, universes more difficult than any other enemy in the normal game. But as for Machina Domain? Well, we shall see about that right now.

...This place never changes.
Huh? Have you been here before, Mr. Sterk?
Yeah. With Princess Meruru and the others. I remember this place giving us some real trouble. I mean, after all...
It's crawling with powerful monsters!
It's wonderful to see you all here. Hahaha, take your time, enjoy the place!
Ahaha. It's not like this is your home you're welcoming us to, you know.
Actually, it is, more or less. But we'll save that conversation for later. As for now... Lulua?

She did her *float into the air and white screen to transform* again to transform, but we've seen that already, so just skipping to this part.

...Excuse me?
You're a little slow on the uptake, aren't you? I'm telling you to come and fight me. As I warned you earlier, this place is crawling with powerful monsters. It's a dangerous place for those without sufficient strength. So I am taking it upon myself to act as gatekeeper, and test your might for myself!
Wh-What?! That's crazy!

So, no fooling, I recorded this fight less than 10 minutes after the level 100 Mana fight. On the same recording. This is my first time coming to Lulua's Machina Domain; I certainly didn't know this was coming, but here we go with Mana...again. Back home

An even more powerful Mana...tremendous. Well, the fight itself is basically identical to the Orthogalaxen Depths Mana, just with improved parameters, and she basically always uses AoE attacks. So yeah, seems a bit more rabid.

Nice thing about having Totori and/or Meruru is they can use Omega Crafts for free. At least until the use count reaches zero, in which case the likelihood of them using their equipped item drops tremendously. But as you can see by my party, I'm still taking the piss with endgame enemies, but not after this, I assure you.

Obviously, this fight was a *lot* closer than the other one.

Aurel was a real mensch for this fight, since he was able to eat a lot of turns on his own while Lulua was on the backline. This fight in particular was close, since I only had two Healing Bell usages on-hand that weren't connected to Rorona. So yeah, this was dicey.

So close. If I had any doubts about Meruru's ability to finish this fight. I would chucked a Craft at her, but nope. Potential Burst did 4288, more than enough to kill her in dramatic fashion.

Yes, that was a splendid battle! Isn't it fun to act as gatekeeper every now and then, Ficus!
Ugh, please don't expect me to comment on that... But, Lady Mana, what is all this about? Testing our strength like that... Is there something that worries you?

Ancient history, I'm sure...

...Yes. I should begin by telling you about this place. These days, it is known as the Machina Domain, but its official name was once "Machines' Domain".
Machines' Domain...? Does that mean...?

In fact, it was the most important for all the facilities. It stood at the center of the operation of all machinery on the territory of Arland.
All of the territory of Arland... That's amazing...
Yes. It was for this reason that it was under the control of Sharm of Ehtogalaxen, the highest-ranked Operator.
But Ehtogalaxen... It collapsed, right?
Yes. And Machines' Domain fell into chaos. Machines throughout Arland went wild... I came here to try and resolve the situation, but I was no exception myself, and I lost control.
What? You were out of control, Mana?
Yeah, I suppose you don't know about that, Lulua. Lady Mana was here for a very long time. She was a machine of pure destruction, wrecking everything that came near. Lady Mana was truly terrifying back then...

Yeah, I can agree to that. Mana in Meruru was harder, I'd say. Of course, I do say that not having fought the level 200 Mana yet.

Hahaha, well, my limiter was broken! But that's what I meant before when I said this place was like my home. It was by fighting Meruru and the others that I managed to come to my senses...and you know the rest. Hahaha!

Huh, so Meruru was responsible for Mana coming to end up in Arklys. As I told you, never underestimate those webs.

She's making light of it, but she was incredibly powerful. It brings a chill to my spine even now, just thinking about it.

Again, I'd agree. I think they even buffed Mana in Meruru+ to the point where she was basically unbeatable without overpowered builds. And unlike this game, there were none of your precious difficulty lowering options if you were having a hard time. Of course, "overpowered builds" in Meruru is saying a lot, considering you could make Meruru invincible and give Gio infinite combos, but that's a subject for another time.

Machina Domain also came up in Rorona+, but nobody talks about it appearing before Meruru's adventures nor refers to it at all, so it's probably not meant to be a thing to be taken seriously in-universe. Just kind of an easter egg in Rorona+, I guess. Machina Domain in Meruru, however, was 100% canon, as we've seen.

Come now, let's not dwell on the past. But now you know what kind of place this is. The thing is, seems a stranger has set up home here.
A stranger...?
Yes. It doesn't appear to be interested in making a move yet, but it must be planning something. Which is where you come in, Lulua! I want you to defeat it!
...What?! You're even more unreasonable than usual, Mana!
Not at all. After all, an alchemist has to be able to handle any situation! So come on, get going! Unless you want me to attack you from behind!
O-OK, OK! I'm going... I wonder what this creature living here might be. We'd better be prepared for anything.

Quite right. The enemies around here are *jacked*, so "extreme prejudice" is the only response to anything here. In addition, put away that Mortal Blow attack item. Everyone here is immune to insta-death, so don't even think about it.

Unfortunately the materials here are crap in terms of their, at least. They did the same thing in Meruru+, where you only got garbage traits before defeating the Alchemy Squirrels, but afterwards you got top of the line traits that made the aforementioned overpowered builds. Don't know if Lulua does the same thing, but we'll certainly find out.

There are some new alchemy booster items around here, but obviously not very sexy.

Yeah, again, enemy groups around here are rough. But for now, let's head back to town.

Only one to go. Very much in your interests to have all the N/As going into the final product at 999 Quality.

But we're so much closer...

As for the Rainbow Supplement, I have a special trait I'm making with it, but you'll see very shortly..

Lucky number three. Remember the Tera Bomb from Rorona? Remember how you had to have a Narrow Range trait on it to prevent it from blowing *your* party to smithereens, too? Indiscriminate Blast is like that. After you use it, the user's HP gets reduced to 1. Probably doesn't apply to an Interrupt use, since Interrupt ignores a lot of gameplay mechanics. The closest comparison in this game to the good ol' original Tera Bomb. Again, not really a weapon to be used, just combined into...

And that's it: the final recipe. Now we just need to make it.

In addition to a Gamma of 999 Quality, you also need to be Alchemy level 50, which you should have hit some time ago. But that's it. Every recipe in the game.

To get this, I used two Living Ropes with (Awaken Dragon) and Fire & Light+1 and Awaken Dragon, since the only really important Effect on the N/A Omega is the Lightning Effect. The Awakened Effect on the Omega doesn't matter that much, but I just worked with another Meteor for Earth DMG+ Lv5.

So what alchemy item are we using? Quite simple.

Yep, EX Effect is an antimatter explosion. No such thing as overkill. Most of the other Effects you could potentially get on the Omega are good, but they're not worth sacrificing Antimatter Annihilation for. What does it do? Well, it's very strong Magic damage that increases "dramatically" depending on the power of the applied traits. Again, I think this is the cost of the attached traits. The cost of everything I want on this is 135 TP, so that should be a pretty huge increase.

Unfortunately, the Omega only has a default usage count of 1, so obviously we're dropping it off at Dragon's. Since the slowdown effect is really bad, and Omega Crafts are more generally useful, we'll just use this whenever the boss gets Fainted for that sweet bonus damage. Before you talk about Interrupts, well, again, part of the reason the Omega Craft is so good is partly because the WT for it is very low. In comparison, the N/A Omega takes a very long time to recharge and The Craft will outdamage it by quite a bit in that same amount of time. Except I guess in Lulua's hands if you get lucky over and over. That's why I dropped Sure Shot for Demon Slowdown. Crit chance doesn't matter when I'm only using it against Fainted bosses.

Speaking of dropping this off at Dragon's, costs more than 10k Cole per copy. Luckily Machina just vomits money at you on CHARISMA. Can hit the cap of 999999 Cole in just a few battles. This is where I got most of my money going into this LP's playthrough.

And that's it. This is not only the final Alchemyriddle of the game but also the last item I needed to make for the "All items made" trophy. The only thing standing between me and 100% is defeating level 200 Mana and the Machina Domain's master.

We can only hope, Sterk. As for me, though, there's no more preparation needed to conquer Machina. At least, I certainly hope not.

If you take both leftmost paths from the start of Machina, you'll end up in the third area on a branch that doesn't connect to the main route but does have a treasure chest. Unfortunately, this Locket of Friendship only has Willpower Awakening (+50 MP, Philosopher's Wisdom/Awakening Agent), Speed Awakening (+40 SPD, Lightspeed/Awakening Agent), and Consumed MP Minimized (75% MP reduction, Consumed MP Halved/Awakening Agent). Yeah...the traits are none too pretty, not to mention like...everything else. I'll pass, thanks.

Right branch of area 2 has nothing special at the end of it, either. Let's just go back to where the Alchemy Squirrels were hanging out last time. Hopefully it's not a 3 versus 4...

I don't see any furry protagonist mockeries in sight, but I do see their cauldrons and a horde of mushrooms. This may seem like a boss fight, where once you step beyond the threshold, you'll get swarmed, but that doesn't happen. Each of these is an individual enemy group.

Now that's some Future-Building Power.

You love to see it. Nothing special about them. They're just mushrooms, that we've seen before in the Neumont Forest, but they are certainly loaded. This bunch on CHARISMA and with my Fate Talisman are worth 100k Cole. The cauldrons themselves have two special alchemy booster items, the Shadow Matter and Sapphire of Confusion, but you should have no particular need for them.

Next area has Marshall Puni, Eternal Darkness Demons, and Bloody Spirits, but if you're picking fights around here, you better be prepared to back that up with force of arms.

When you get to a four-way intersection, the left path has this Auric. Effects are great, and even the traits are pretty good. Diamond gives +20 to DEF and adds Resonance effects and Life Power gives +50 to HP. Still, the Aurics we're using are far more than sufficient for my purposes.

The chest on the opposite side from that has an Alchemy Coat with Dragon God's Wrath, Stamina Awakening (HP/MP +25), and Stats Power (all stats +15). Unfortunately the Effects aren't great, just adding Magic resistance and increasing the power of (Magic Tool) items, which is quite inferior to anything I'm using.

Unfortunately, there are no uber DLC traits. On the one hand kinda lame you can't play around with builds as much as you could in prior games, but on the other, it's nice you don't have to wait until the postgame for the actual builds worth a damn.

But it's finally time to meet the master of Machina. This is where Heaven's Dragon was hanging out in Meruru. Schwarz Vogel

Wind Stone...?! What's it doing here...?
Incorrect. I am not Wind Stone. I am the Spirit Bird Shadow. I have come to measure the extent of your strength.
Huh...? My strength...?
...Let us begin.
Wha??! I-I guess I have no choice!

I think we can accommodate it...

But it won't be easy. You hate when enemies get turns like this and most of your frontline is down before you even move...

Unstoppable... Or is it?

Rorona really should be throwing this out as soon as possible, since that level of resistance will help a lot in reducing damage.

The reason I was using Totori's Mega Meteor was because it comes with a chance to Stun all enemies, and as soon as this fellow gets stunned, perfect chance to use the N/A Omega on it. Not this time, though.

Black Bird has all of Wind Stone's techniques (except for I think the auto-heal / Cure move), so expect a lot of AoE hits and powerful single targets. Windslicer is a new one, though, and it is the most powerful attack, of course. Was really rather lucky Totori survived by the skin of her teeth, since although Lulua and Piana would have swapped in, it would have been considerably messier to get back into the game.

Perfect chance to use my Omega. Let's see what this can do.

Thought it would do a bit more, but I do have to consider the target here. We'll see how it stacks up against Mana a bit later on.

Only one Omega Craft away. Possibly two, but so close to the end.

Fitting that Lulua gets the final blow.

Black Bird drops a 999 Quality Sacred Bird Feather and Azure Wing. Nice plumage.

*pant* *pant*...
Your abilities are remarkable. I can see why the Spirit Bird recognized your strength. But ability alone is not enough. Not for one who must bear the burden of the future...
Huh? Bear the burden of the future? What does that mean?
...It means you must work harder still, young girl who carries the hopes of a land on her shoulders. When you feel you have grown, you must return. Then, I will face you once more. *takes off*
Wait a minute...! It just said its piece and left...
Bear the burden of the future... When you feel you have grown... Hmm. I wonder... It seems like it wants you to grow stronger, Lulua.
You think so? But why?

Hmm, I feel like I'm being mocked. Just what about me is so much fun?
Everything, my dear, everything. From the tips of your toes to the crown of your head! Hahaha! Well, now we know what it was doing here, so all that's left is... Hehe. Why not do what it wants, and become greater than ever before?
Greater... Yes, greater! If that's what it wants, then that's what I'll do! I'll become a great alchemist, one that Wind Stone, and that bird...

*Lulua runs off to more greatness*

Oh dear, she's so easily manipulated...
Haha. But that simplicity is part of Lulua's charm, don't you think? ...Isn't that right, Rorona?
Of course! Give it your all, Lulua! We'll be behind you all the way!

Further up the path, in a normal treasure chest is the final unique item, a recipe book filled with... Well, we'll soon see. But you know what? That's the end of Machina's mysteries this time. Exit ahead leads to the world map.

Well, that went quicker than last time, that's for sure.

Awww, I was disappointed how nobody pointed out that a thing with "Black" in the name was red. It's not even referenced, so I like to think even they know lots of things just sound cooler in German.

This is what's in the Forbidden Tome. Unfortunately they're just new synthesis items. Nothing special about their effects or what they're meant to be used for. Interestingly, the "Engel Stone" showed up previously in Totori and Meruru+ as "Angel Stone", which, in Totori, made a special staff for Totori and in Meruru unlocked a whole new weapon tier (it was unlocked after you reach Sonne rank). As another fun fact, you could get that special staff in Meruru+ if you had Totori+ save data, or something. It was a neat touch right at the start of the game. The fourth item unlocked from the Forbidden Tome is the Anti-Material, which is basically used in the same way as the Grand Material.

It actually took me until the Forbidden Tome to realize that alchemy books don't have an Encyclopedia entry. If the cast has anything interesting or funny to say about any of them, it's not in the game.


Like with the Philosopher's Stone, the Effects here are mostly to make the item have strong elemental values in the slot you want. Here it's either +4 or +5 of what you want. Kind of an excessive step if you ask me, but there go.

If you don't want Equipment Creation All: +7, you can get the second highest Effect that gives you +15 to ATK and SPD. But again, after beating Bird kind of more effort than necessary.

Look, anti-matter explosions are one thing, but this is quite another. Second highest Lightning Effect is +15 to DEF and SPD. But now for something somewhat different.

Every time you want to refight Mana, you get this little scene. A cute scene, as befits most any scene with Mana, but I'll wait until I record an actual refight to show it in its entirety. Level 110 is nothing special, but something strange did happen during it that I believe bears mention.

When she was very low on life, she used this move, Samsara Quinary, where she drew her sword, jumped into the air, slammed into a single party member, then caused an explosion as she jumped away and struck a pose. Pretty cool and not that powerful (at least at level 110 stats), but check those time cards. I ended this fight before it got there, but you know those can't be good, whatever they do. I'm writing this after having defeated the level 200 Mana, and she never used this move ever again. Very odd.

By the way, the N/A Omega against Mana? That's a little more like it. Add even more damage if she's Fainted. There's two ways to quickly Faint an enemy as tanky as Mana, both ways involving Eva, but it's a tricky process and you have to go out of your way to do it, as well as getting an alchemist to move *right* after and chuck an N/A.

First way, of course, is to use Eva's Ultimate and let that time card hit Mana. The trouble there is if there's *anything* between that time card and an alchemist's turn. If there is, she's gonna recover. The other way is to use an attack that does Physical/Magic damage, like Lulua's Little Vice skill. She'll shoot out a move called Mind Paralysis, which auto-stuns an enemy. One-time per battle, of course, and Eva needs to be in the back row for this. This is a bit more practical, but does make party formations a little more awkward depending on what you want. Aurel's ability to recover Faint from the backline is really good, but you also want your Healing Bell user to be safe back there, as well. Life is full of choices. For my part, I wanted to beat Ultimate Mana without Meruru or Totori, just to show how it's done, and, well...

Once you're done playing, how to get Mana to respawn? Wait 10 days and come back here. Fastest way to do this is to go back to the atelier, sleep for 10 days, then come back here.

For level 150 Mana, we are doing a video, and I'm definitely goofing around with this party. Ficus and Sterk add basically nothing to an ultimate CHARISMA team, but we managed. Mostly I wanted to do this because we haven't shown Einzelkampf yet, have we? Considering how late Sterk gets it, not entirely surprising. Sword mastery


Hehehe. If you've chosen to bring me here, I assume that means you're ready for what comes next! *floats into air* OPERATION, Mode Change! Code ... "Mana Orthogalaxia". I'm not going to hold anything back!

Man, get used to Mechanized Blade. Having fought Mana 10 times in the space of like 2 hours, she loooves this move. And why not?

A funny thing happens if Rorona and Sterk are on the frontlines, Rorona goes down, and Sterk is standing. He gains an automatic 100 AP for the party thanks to his and her's Primal Art and I think gets guaranteed next turn. It's uh...kinda niche, considering the number of enemies who can trigger this exact scenario are pretty rare at this point in the game (they'll usually also KO Sterk). But it is cool, that overflowing protective instinct as a not-knight.

And of course, it makes demonstrating Einzelkampf easier.

So why Ficus, exactly? Well, Jester's Heart drains MP in exchange for increasing AP (more MP drained = more AP gained), and again, for Einzelkampf. Other than that, his love can be pretty deadly, since he can increase Mana's parameters by 10% as a side-effect of one of his supports... Definitely not meant for a serious exhibition.

But now it's time for the moment we've been waiting for. The ultimate technique handed down between rivals.

Music: Einzelkampf

Ignoring the pathetic damage, gotta love our boy's improved Meruru Ultimate, don't we?

Aside from that, rest of the fight proceeded fairly normally. Love that N/A Omega spiciness.

OPERATION ... Glittering Trove of Gold and Silver!

Hehe. Don't spend it all in one place. Well, then, I shall be off. Call me again anytime!

So what's in that chest? Well...

Three random high-tier items (can also include a Dragon Eye), with lots of Special traits on them. For the level 140 Mana win, a special one, detailed in the next screenshot.

In Firis this fight also gave away high-tier traits, but it was even more valuable in Lydie and Suelle because there was a very large family of high-tier traits you could only get from the level-increasing bosses. Some you could get elsewhere but you'd want to get good at both killing them and loading pre-fight saves to get the traits you want against them.

Three Special traits on one item. Pretty lucky, I should think. Anyway, let's skip ahead to the Final Final Battle of this playthrough, level 200 Mana. Final battle

Schwarz Vogel had about 10k more health on CHARISMA, but make no mistake, it's gonna take everything we got. I'll just say right now, you probably have no idea how this fight ends.

So why is Aurel here? Almost literally "just high evasion" is the answer. Even against bosses this is more reliable than you'd think. Ideally we want to keep Eva and Piana off the field the entire fight.

Well, I didn't say we'd be able to.

But back to work. Is it necessary Lulua be in the frontline? No, but it feels right to have her front and center as much as possible. But you do need Lulua with builds like this. Being able to hit the enemy with up to three item usages in a row (maybe four a few times for me, but won't swear to that) is just irreplaceable.

Definitely a really lucky chain of damage here. More damage than an Omega and completely unstoppable.

Rorona's Ultimate is probably the most valuable one here, because those three layers of Physical resistance can just outright nullify some of her attacks. Until Death Scent comes along, of course.

Like this one. Even Mechanized Blade is a purely Physical hit, so it won't punch through Miss Rorona's Classroom.

Absolute domination by a single item. Again, not even Fainted. If she had been, that probably would have ended the fight right there.

Now where the hell did this Shadow Torrent come from? Again, she never used this on any prior attempt, but yeah, say goodbye to everyone's MP gauge.

This close to the end, and she's fighting like a beast. Now, check this shit out.

Eva's damage on support that would make a pinprick feel embarrassed...and THAT KOs probably the strongest enemy in the game? Yeah...yeah, sure. did.

But hey, Lulua did say Keina and Eva were a lot stronger than they appeared. That's some foreshadowing.

But that's it. There's nothing at all left to do in the game. But we have a couple more things to do, including a series of events that begins in Arls, but for now, the final Encyclopedia entries for the thread.

Gotta love that Atelier Rorona reference for the cogwheel one. Anyway, as I said, to Arls one last time.

I wonder if that little girl is lost... I have to do something to help! Huh, who's that?
Are you alright? Have you lost your mother?
Uh-huh... *sniff* But who are you?
Hehehe, I'm glad you asked! I use alchemy to bring punishment to evil in all its forms!

The legends are true.

Masked M...?
Now that I'm here, there's no need to worry! Let's go find your mother together!
Huh...? But Mom always warned me not to follow odd-looking strangers...
I'm not odd! I'm not odd at all! I'm cool and mysterious! Ahem! And I'm on the side of justice! I promise that I will find your mother!
In that case...I guess I can go with you. Thank you, Masked M...

*Vanquisher of the degenerate and girl leave*

Wow...! Helping a lost child... That Masked M is pretty impressive! I wish I could do something like that... That's it! It's all in the mask, really! If I had a mask like that, then...! Hehe...hehehe... Alright, it's decided! I'm heading back to the workshop and getting busy with alchemy-- I mean, sewing!

So I only discovered this fun series of events by accident, since I had literally never been to Arls at all since Meruru hit >80% affection level. No reason to go, you see.

Something seems off about this picture...

I guess I should start by cutting some cloth... There. Hmm, it doesn't look very good... Well, never mind. Next, I just have to slide the thread through this needle... Augh! It won't go through! Come on! Come on! Whew, there we go. Now, it's time to get sewing... Ouch! I stabbed myself in the finger...

This is so dispiriting... I had no idea I was so bad at this... But I guess I've always left this sort of thing to Eva... At this rate, I'll never be able to transform into the great Masked L...
Oh, Teacher... What are you doing here? Right now, I have an injured finger and a heavy heart...
Huh, what does that mean? And why are you making that sack?
Mask! It's not a sack, it's a mask!
Well, it doesn't look like one... But we don't have time to argue! An adventurer has come under attack from monsters nearby! The citizen guard is too busy, so we need to take care of it ourselves!
...! I understand! I'll make preparations at once!

But what business could she possibly have here? Let's hope it's nothing that can't wait until we get back from Handel Farm, because she's coming with us to help.

Wargh, help!
So these are the monsters we heard about.
...Yes, it looks like it.
OK! Let's make sure we defeat them, Lulua!
Yes! Here we go...!

Just some ornery Red Puni. Deal with them as you see fit. They're a little chunky at more than 6000 HP apiece, but Red Puni are Red Puni.

Yeah, thanks. They just jumped out at me, and took me by surprise...
Well, you don't seem to be hurt. That's the main thing.
Thank you so much! I guess I owe you some token of my gratitude...
Ahaha, I don't need anything, honestly. That's not why I helped you.
...Is that right? Then at least tell me your name.
Very well. Hehe. I am known as...

*fade to black*

Are you sure you didn't want a reward? He said he was going to give you something. You should have taken it.
Ahaha, that's fine. I didn't do anything special.
My, my, you certainly are my prize pupil. But tell me, Lulua... What was that business before about the Masked L...?
Oh, that...

Woah! ...Huh, Ms. Meruru? Why are you dressed like that...?

She's clearly out of her mind with surprise.

Come on, Teach! It's the Masked M! The Masked M!

Someone talking sense here. How quickly the student became the master.

The Masked M...?
Indubitably so! I use alchemy to bring punishment to evil in all its forms! Brave, righteous, and never defeated! I am the mighty Masked M!
Yay, yay! *cheer*!
Now, Lulu? ... Young Lulua!
Uh, yes? What is it, Masked M?
I have been watching you closely, from the shadows. I know more about you than you think. I know about the flame of righteousness that burns within you. I know that you wish to wear this mask.
Which is why I have decided to give this to you... It is my spare mask.
What?! A-Are you sure?
Of course, you must promise to continue to wield your staff of justice for the sake of the people of this land...

...! Yes! I promise!
Then I bid you farewell!

A Mask must always know how to make an exit.

Masked M! Thank you so much!
Um, err... Lulua? You do know that was Ms. Meru?...?
Oh, there you are! Sorry I'm late; I found some really good mushrooms, you see.
Ah, Ms. Meruru, you missed her! Just now, the Masked M was here!
I suppose it would be cruel of me to interject. As long as she's been inspired, that's good enough... Still, the Masked M and the Masked L... You'd think they could make more of an effort to hide their identities, ahaha...

The birth of a new legend is occasion enough to mark the end of a 100% playthrough, don't you think? I certainly do. But one last thing needs to be done before we go.

These are my clothes. Actually, I didn't make them myself... I just found them on my pillow when I woke up one day. I like them fine, so I don't suppose it matters, but...

(Flower Pareo) Yes, this is my swimsuit, and...well, I'd thank you not to stare! I mean, I'm not as young as some of the others, you know!

Should be noted that, if you linger on a dressing room option, the characters will say stuff. Rorona was freaking out as I was typing the above comments while the game was running. Sorry, ma'am.

The attire I wear as the captain of the citizen guard. Despite the fact that this is our standard uniform, none of the other members seem to want to wear it... And yet it's so noble and chivalrous!

See you on the other side, everyone.